East Lansing Center City Development Takes Another Step Forward

Michigan Strategic Fund Board Approval Prepares Project For Groundbreaking

EAST LANSING, Mich. – East Lansing’s Center City District development project took another step forward yesterday morning, with approval of incentives by the Michigan Strategic Fund Board (MSF) made available by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). Following approvals of the the brownfield plan, development agreement, and site plan by the East Lansing City Council and Brownfield Redevelopment Authority this summer, the State’s sign-off on Tuesday has positioned the project to move forward with a groundbreaking expected in early October.

“LEAP worked hard to package and ensure this project could happen at no cost to East Lansing taxpayers, including seeking incentives from the MSF, and I’m proud that we were able to do that,” said Steve Willobee, LEAP’s Chief Operating Officer. “This project really signifies the national attention our region is now attracting from major investors and businesses across the country. On behalf of LEAP, I want to thank the MEDC for recognizing the importance of this request, and I want to congratulate the City of East Lansing and Mark Bell of Harbor Bay on reaching another project milestone.”

The Center City District project will redevelop the Albert Avenue Parking Lot and the 100-200 block along East Grand River Avenue, positioning the area as a pedestrian-focused active living district. The project includes the creation of new and diverse housing options, parking, and retail, including one of only 35 urban Target stores in the nation with an urban grocery option.

“Along with Harbor Bay, the Ballein Family, LEAP, and input from countless residents, we have developed a project that will serve our city for generations to come,” said East Lansing Mayor Mark Meadows. “Yesterday, the MEDC recognized the value of this vision with their approval, and it’s rewarding to see our collective efforts poised to move forward.”

The development team, consisting of East Lansing’s own Ballein Family and the Chicago-based developer Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors, originally proposed the Center City District development in February 2017. The $132 million project, which will create 57 full-time jobs and 400-500 prevailing wage construction jobs, is expected to be completed in the summer of 2019.

“There have been a lot of passionate dedicated individuals involved in crafting this project at every turn, and it feels good to be moving another step closer to putting shovels in the ground,” said Mark Bell, CEO, Harbor Bay Real Estate Advisors. “We want to thank the Ballein Family, Mayor Meadows, and the entire East Lansing community for displaying a shared commitment to community-oriented development throughout this process.”


About LEAP

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders partnering to build a stronger community for all—working every day to grow, retain and attract business.